An exceptionally rare Henry VIII joined oak panel-back armchair, circa 1530

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Lot 481* TP
An exceptionally rare Henry VIII joined oak panel-back armchair, circa 1530

Sold for £ 40,000 (US$ 52,208) inc. premium
An exceptionally rare Henry VIII joined oak panel-back armchair, circa 1530
With carved Romayne-type portrait back panel, the central roundel framing a female profile bust within a laurel-wrapped wreath, with leaf-and-berry spandrels, the top rail with broad flat run-moulding, repeated on the seat rails, the flat open-arms on plain rectangular tapering front supports, descending to plain legs, joined by rectangular stretchers all round, 55.5cm wide x 43.5cm deep x 89cm high, (21 1/2in wide x 17in deep x 35in high)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Purchased from Tobias Jellinek, 29th June 1990.

    This remarkable chair is one of the earliest examples of a British joined open-framed armchair. Prior to the beginning of the 16th century the only available lightweight chair, with an open-base, was principally of X-form or turned, and joined chairs were mainly of heavy construction, with an enclosed-base and arms. This chair clearly demonstrates how the joiner, from around 1520, began to omit panels from a chair's frame, and thereby created the lighter standard joined form for at least the next two centuries; a panelled-back, with open arms and base.

    The National Museum of Wales Collection, St. Fagans. has a comparable chair, almost certainly dating from before 1525. The chair's back-panel is carved with the arms of Sir Rhys ap Thomas of Dynefwr, Carmarthenshire, [1449-1525], and illustrated, Victor Chinnery Oak Furniture: The British Tradition (2016), p. 200, fig. 3:28. A further example, known only from a wood engraving, drawn in the early 19th century, also has a Romayne-type portrait panel, illustrated, ibid., p. 202, fig 3:31. A chair of similar form, but with two back panels, in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, is illustrated Tobias Jellinek, Early British Chairs and Seats 1599 to 1700 (2009), p.77, pl.64, and a fourth chair, the most similar to this lot, both in form and carving, is illustrated ibid. pl.14, p. 47, dated to 1525.
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An exceptionally rare Henry VIII joined oak panel-back armchair, circa 1530
An exceptionally rare Henry VIII joined oak panel-back armchair, circa 1530
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